“Rosemary Ethel Hume was born in Sevenoaks, Kent. She was one of the first British people to be trained in “Le Cordon Bleu” in Paris. She was taught by Henri-Paul Pellaprat. She had not done well at school as the family moved around following her father, Colonel Charles Vernon Hume, who had worked in India and now worked in military intelligence. Hume showed an interest in cookery.
In 1931 she and Dione Lucas set up a cookery school in London as they had both trained in Paris. They had a flat in Chelsea and they would reputedly serve their students’ creations to passing trade at chairs and tables on the pavement. Hume and Lucas opened l’Ecole du Petit Cordon Bleu in 1933. Rosemary Hume, the principal of the London Le Cordon Bleu school created Poulet Reine Elizabeth (later known as Coronation Chicken) for one of the coronation menus on 2 June 1953.
Dione Lucas is thought to have helped Hume create her first cookery book as her spelling was known to be poor. Rosemary was approached by Constance Spry with a proposal that they should create a cookbook together. Spry could write the book and Hume would supply the recipes. Constance was to provide personal reminiscences of her time in Ireland. Constance was twenty years older than Hume.
Constance Fletcher was born in Derby in 1886. After studying hygiene, physiology and district nursing in Ireland, she lectured on first aid and home care for the Irish Women’s National Health Association. After the beginning of the war in 1914, Constance Marr was appointed secretary of the Dublin Red Cross. In 1916, she left both Ireland and her husband, escaping a violent marriage, and moved to Barrow-in-Furness with her son Anthony to work as a welfare supervisor. In 1926, she married her second husband. Spry gave up teaching in 1928, to open her first shop, “Flower Decoration”, in 1929. In 1953, Spry was commissioned to arrange the flowers at Westminster Abbey and along the processional route from Buckingham Palace for Queen Elizabeth II’s coronation.
By 1953 Hume and Spry were both principals of the “Cordon Bleu” Cookery School in London. In celebration of the coronation of Elizabeth II they devised the recipe now known as “Coronation Chicken”. The recipe has been in every edition of the Constance Spry Cookbook (by Spry and Hume) but the major credit should go to Rosemary Hume.”
From Party Food and Drink (1950) by Rosemary Hume:
“…Parties, even really good ones, are not in these days necessarily of the oyster and champagne variety…
BEFORE AND AFTER THE PLAY
These menus are designed for those who plan to cook their own theatre supper party, for help is seldom available during the evening…
A stand-by for the pre-theatre snack is the Pizza. This is like a gigantic open sandwich…”